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Kayak vs Rafting?

When it comes to what outdoor activity I’d prefer the most, of course I would always pick Kayaking. It’s something of a personal preference. In the interest of discussion (and a lot of you have been messaging about this), we’ll be discussing kayaking and rafting today.

Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water that involves paddling using a double-bladed oar and a small boat known as a kayak. A kayak is a low-to-the-water, canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in rotation.

Rafting, particularly white water rafting, is a recreational outdoor activity which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water, and generally represents a new and challenging environment for participants.

Commonalities: 

Both kayaking and rafting need bodies of water. They usually are done on rivers but kayaks can be done on wider and open water. Both require safety equipment! Being safe should always be a priority. Both offer an opportunity for people to connect with nature.

It’s also an activity that requires physical exertion regardless of the category of the river chosen.

Differences:

Kayaking

  • Driven by a single person.
  • Rowing at both ends with single paddle.
  • Kayak is a small in size, so arms can reach out to both side easily by a single person.
  • If the person fainted, passed out or got tired, he/she don’t have any backup person to help out.

Rafting

  • A big raft, on which as much as 10 people can sit together.
  • However, 9 people can row together ( 4 left, 4 right & 1 at the back side to control the direction)
  • One person sit at the front of the raft to push the raft downwards to avoid the raft to flip over.
  • Although, apart from 10 people, extra 4 persons can sit at the center of the raft just to enjoy the ride and do nothing.
  • Its not neccesary to have 10 or more people; as 2, 4 or 6 people can also do rafting.
  • people can switch or swap the their seats for their comfort.

Kayaking, for me, is more of a leisure sport that’s often done in flat waters. Rafting is more of a physically strenuous activity. This is particularly true when the river chosen is higher in the river categories.

What’s true about both though is if you are an amateur to being on a river, it is important to have someone more experienced with you. There’s really no discussing which is better. Each activity has their own particular charm that can suit a variety of people.

Kayaking and Rafting are often pitted against each other despite the fact that there is no real competition. It all boils down to personal preference. I think that every person can choose to do both activities and find enjoyment. All I’d like to say is when you do decide to go kayaking or rafting, it’s important to dress sensibly and do study up on how you can enjoy your chosen activity safely.

Suddenly, I Want To Be In Singapore

Hey there, buds! It’s me John, coming to you with another dose of my ~need~ list. So I was just going about my day, as serene as you please, and then my good friend Sharifah pops me a private message and sends me a link.

What’s in the link, you ask? Some hidden gems. What do I mean by hidden gems? Places to kayak, of course! So being the information nut that I am, I immediately start my google escapades to find out more about these gems she so proudly shared with me.

Let me share with you what I’ve found out.

Southern Islands

Everyone has probably heard of Sentosa. It’s pretty famous for being a luxury holiday destination. However, Sharifah pointed out that there were several other islands that are in the south. One of which is St. John’s island. The others are Lazarus Island, Sisters’ island, and Pulau Hantu.

Fun fact: St. Johns’s Island formerly housed a quarantine station for cholera cases for immigrants in the late 19th century. It continued to be a quarantine station for several other diseases over the years. There was also a drug rehabilitation center. It was around 1975 that this island was turned into a getaway with swimming lagoons, beaches, and several other recreational sites.

Since these islands are kinda close to each other, people can actually paddle to visit all of them in a day. Sharifah says waking up early is the key. However, this place is not for beginners. The difficultly level is set to intermediate and advance kayakers. But on really good days and with proper supervision, a few beginners can be taken on a tour.

I was told to expect to dedicate around 11 hours or so for the whole excursion.

Ketam Island and Pulau Ubin Mangrove

So I don’t know about you guys but when I heard the magic word “mangrove” I was completely sold. An ex-girlfriend of mine opened up my eyes to how important mangroves are; what they do for the environment and the wildlife in the area. If you’re not familiar with that, you should read up on it–it’s pretty great.

While this isn’t as “hidden”, my friend says that this is the second most famous island in Singapore. Traversing the waters in between Pulau Ubin and Ketam Island from Pasir Ris Park can be a bit of a challenge for newbies.

Fun Fact: Pulau Ubin has a mangrove forest! You just know that I’m already completely sold on this.

Difficulty of the trek is estimated to range from beginner to intermediate paddlers. Expected duration is around 5 hours–so it’s a fairly quick trip. Sounds like a trip that’s best with a whole bunch of buddies. I’m just hoping Sharifah is up for it.

Seletar Island and Khatib Bongsu Mangrove

I gotta say, my friend knows how to catch my attention. From what I found out, Seletar Island is north of mainland Singapore. It’s a pretty small spit of land that can only be accessed by boats and kayaks. The small island has a small forest on it and a small patch of mangrove that kayakers can explore.

A lot of wildlife that’s local to only this area can provide a pretty picture for guests.

Difficulty level is beginner to intermediate, which tells me that this is a good spot to get kids started on this pretty fun hobby. Time allotment would be about 4 to 6 hours.

So what about you guys? I’m totally wishing I was in Singapore right now!

Kayak Safety Tips

One of the greatest things about kayaking is that it can be remarkably safe and user-friendly activity. But it’s important to understand that when things do go wrong the fact that you are on the water means that situations can become very serious, very fast. This is why it’s so important that you understand the risks and hazards involved with kayaking and that you assume a conservative and safety conscious attitude when making decisions on the water.

It’s been quite sad to hear of fatalities from this pleasant activity. Particularly since if you stick to the side of safety, it’s fairly easy to stay safe. Now, avoiding dangerous situations on the water is surprisingly easy by following a few simple safety rules.

Never drink and paddle

There can never be enough emphasis on this safety tip. When you’re doing any activity that requires your complete attention and sharp senses, it’s always a terrible idea to take anything to dull those senses. Not only is it very dangerous but it is, frankly, a really stupid thing to do. Not only are you risking your own life–if you’re paddling with a group of people, you’re putting their lives in danger if they have to jump in and save your inebriated ass.

So please, if you ever start to think that paddling and drinking go together, use that oar and whack that nonsense out of your head.

Always wear your life jacket on the water

Now, one of the biggest reasons people take the life jacket off is because they find it uncomfortable to kayak with it on. This is why it’s worth investing in a kayaking specific life jacket because they are designed to be as comfortable and  isn’t as restricting when you are sitting in a kayak or paddling.

Life jackets are called exactly that because they’re supposed to keep you alive. With the proper use, they will. Don’t ever tempt fate just because the water looks calm. There might be an undertow that’s just waiting beneath the surface. Much like being on an airplane and keeping your seat belt on regardless of turbulence, having your life jacket on whenever you’re on the water is just being smart and safe.

Dress suitably

Cold water represents the biggest hazard because immersion in cold water can quickly lead to hypothermia. So it’s important that you dress according to the weather  or the season when you’re going on your paddle run. Be sensible–add some more layers when it’s on the chilly side of the seasons. Now, if you are going to be paddling in cold or cooler water, you need to be more conservative with all your decisions, and you need to paddle in calm conditions, close to shore and never alone.

Water is always cold and expect to get wet so even if the season you’re in is warm, dress in manner that ensure that you stay warm while you paddle.

Never paddle in an area that’s above your skill level

The ideal kayaking environment has protection from wind and waves, a good access point for launching and landing, lots of places to go ashore and minimal motorized boat traffic. Look for calm bays or quiet lakes and river ways without noticeable current.

As a general rule, if you venture into water that is not protected from wind and waves and/or if you travel further from shore than you can comfortably swim, you are entering a new world – a world in which you need to protect yourself and the people you are paddling with by taking a sea kayaking course which among other things teaches you invaluable exposed water rescue skills.

Practice in safe conditions whenever you can

One thing that any pro can tell you is that re-entering a sit-on-top kayak is a lot easier than re-entering a sit-inside kayak because it won’t swamp. In fact, just emptying your sit-inside kayak is a major ordeal on the water, especially if you don’t have a bulkhead in your kayak. And a bulkhead is simply a wall in the kayak to divide into separate compartments so the whole thing won’t swamp if you flip. Whatever type of kayak that you are using, if you can’t confidently re-enter your kayak from the water then it only makes sense to stay close enough to shore that you can comfortably swim if need.

Some Boating Tips I Live By

It is often said that experience is the best teacher. I’m here to tell you now that this is very, very true. When you don’t the chance to rack up experience in order to teach you, we often have to make do with the learned experiences of others. One of my good friends Paula rang me up recently to talk about her plans to go on a boating trip.

She wanted to know if there were any tips I could give her based on my own experiences. So today, I’ll be sharing some of these tips with you guys as well. I hope that you’ll find them to be useful.

Keep an eagle eye out for weather reports preceding and on the day of your boating trip

Weather is everything when it comes to boating. You can make plans as much as you possibly can but if the weather isn’t good for boating, don’t be stubborn about it. Yes, it can be frustrating since you’ve invested time, effort, and money into this activity. However, losing that is better than losing your life.

A lot of reckless would-be sailors tend to ignore the weather or brave what seems to be calm after a patchy day. This often leads to accidents and loss of property that could otherwise have been totally avoided. It’s best to stay ashore and wish you had gone out than going out and wishing you hadn’t.

Overdressing is smart

I remember what I wore on the first ever boating trip I went to when I was younger. My grandfather had warned me to bundle up but I figured since it was warm, I would be fine with just a shirt and some shorts. Hooboy–lemme tell you I was freezing my nutter off come the afternoon. As it turns out, the weather conditions over water can differ greatly from weather on land.

More is often better than less. You can always take clothing off, after all.

Don’t be stingy with the snack and water stock

One thing I have learned is that boating is hungry AND thirsty business. This is particularly true if you’re bringing along friends, particularly their kids, on boating trips.

Everyone is bound to be happier and in a more pleasant mood if they aren’t hungry or dehydrated. Just keep an eye out for that one person who will probably drink as much of the water as they can. A lot of people don’t really appreciate drinking water until they’re surrounded by water the *can’t* drink.

Never overload your boat

This is something to keep in mind while the previous point is taken into consideration. It’s great to stock up on food and water but if it’s going to risk overloading your boat, you may need to consider cutting back on stock or people you’re taking on.

Don’t feel bad about turning some people down. It is ultimately for the safety of everyone on board.

Secure your gadgets and personal effects in a zip lock bag

This is one lesson I will always share with everyone. Don’t be like me whose wallet took a dip while boating out at Lake Tahoe. It was actually pretty lucky that we weren’t that far out yet so I was able to fish it out.

So take it from me. Your keys, wallets, and cell phones will be better off in a waterproof or zip lock bag. Not only will it keep them safe from getting drenched–if it somehow makes its way into the water, zip lock bags that aren’t heavy will float.

Make sure than more than one person knows how to drive or hail for help

This is particularly important in case of emergencies. It’s pretty much the same on a long road trip. It’s best to have another person who knows how to drive to relieve the driver in case of emergencies or fatigue.

Feeding Your Engine: What You Can Eat On A Kayak Trip

Hey, all! I wanted to share the fruits of a conversation I had with my good buddy Adam! It started while we were making our checklist for the next big paddle trip we’re taking. He said that he was kinda sick of having to pack granola bars for pit stops and serene waters. I told him that I used to be like that as well until I realized there were several simple meals that I could bring with me instead of the run of the mill granola bar and protein bar.

It always used to be so tricky having to plan for your meals when you’re an active paddler. You have to factor in what sort of environment you’ll be in and how much physical exertion will be done. When you’re done considering that, you have to think of how much space you can realistically allot for meals in your portage pack or hatches. So my buddy and I decided to hunker down and list down realistic meals.

  1. Apples – a lot of people tend to overlook this fantastic fruit. They’re easy to prepare and easier to pack in a small container or even a zip lock bag. They stay pretty crisp and can last that way up to around lunch time. They give anyone a much needed crunch that most healthy snacks lack.
  2. Veggie Sticks – Never underestimate a the sweetness of a carrot–especially when paired with peanut butter. No, really. Other than carrots, celery and zucchini are good alternatives. In fact, you can mix them altogether for a varied healthy snack. If you don’t trust me on the peanut butter claim, you can use hummus.
  3.  Hot Soup – Make the soup the day before and store in the fridge overnight. Heat up in the morning and store in a lightweight thermos and it’ll still be hot during lunch time. It’s a perfect way to warm your soul when you’re out on a cold adventure. Soups come in a variety of flavors and consistencies. My personal favorite is Picadillo Soup. It’s a full meal with the meat and potatoes.
  4. Wraps – Basically anything can be wrapped nowadays. You can use a burrito wrap and fill it with your choice of filling. Adam says that you can even make a sort of pizza pocket wrap. He and I are torn on whether or not it needs to be served hot or not. Personally, I like pizza cold while he needs his piping hot. So a good solution to those who agree is to wrap the pizza pocket wrap in foil and heat it up over a fire. You can even make a summer sandwich of sorts with some lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cheese.
  5. Grilled Chicken Salad – Hear me out on this one. Prep the chicken the night before and refrigerate. You can even shred it up and pair it with some cheese and greens. It’s easy to store in a zip lock back and doesn’t take up much space. It’s pretty easy to make and will be a bit heavier than the usual fare of protein bars.

What about you guys? Lemme know if you have other ideas for easy to make and easy to store meals or snacks for your own kayak trips!

My Canadian Kayaking Hit List

So everything’s been quite politically charged lately–it’s not really something we can avoid but in order to de-stress from that mess, I decided to make a list of places that I’d want to paddle in. I started thinking a lot about Canada. I mean, Canada is pretty amazing. It’s got great food and logistically speaking, it’s fairly close to the USA. So I figured, why not make a hit list of places I wanna kayak at in Canada?

First of all, I think would want to visit Rideau Canal in Kingston. I did some reading about it and found out that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So it should be a pretty historic place. Other than getting some sweet water time, I’ll be enriching myself by partaking in the culture of the area. So I tried to dig around some websites to find out more information about Rideau. Turns out that at certain times of the year, it turns into the world’s longest ice skating rink. So that’s the time I should avoid since I want fluid water and not solid.

A friend by the name of Jenny gave me some pretty solid advice. She told me to visit in May or June since the canal will be fluid and there will be significantly less people. She also told me to start in Kingston since the wind direction and currents will work to my advantage. So thanks, Jenny! I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I make my visit.

Next, I would definitely choose Bloodvein River in Manitoba. I’ve seen photos of this place and it looks spectacular! If there was ever a place that boast of majestic scenery, it would be this place! Canadian Shield Rocks and wildlife is as pure and as it gets. I don’t know about you but I’ve always wanted to see an actual wild bald eagle soar overhead. Call it a city boy’s dream–but it’s true.

Digging up more information about this told me that this area is actually pretty remote and a fly-in trip is needed. So that definitely tells me that I need to study up a bit more to really understand what else is required for this trip. All I know is that all this has not diminished my enthusiasm one bit. If anything, it’s a pretty exciting venture! I particularly like the fact that this place has areas for novices and experts so I can choose what type of adventure I want to have when I visit. There’s also no rule saying that I only need to visit once. So I suspect that Bloodvein and I will get acquainted several times in my life (here’s hoping).

Lastly, I think I’d want to visit Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. One of the things that really gets me about kayaking is the fact that I can often watch sunsets in their full unobstructed beauty. And I’ve seen photos of the sunsets that this place has. If you’re like me, you believe that it’s always best to see things in person because nothing beats seeing things with your own big blues.

This area is also fairly famous for its wildlife like herons and beavers. Of the other sites I’ve picked, I think this is the one that’s the closest to the US as it is the west of Lake Superior.

Do you guys have suggestions about places that’s worth kayaking at? I’d love to hear from you. For now, I go back to the drawing board and look up other places I’d want to add to my hit list.

How To Stay Warm During Winter Kayaking

Hey, buds! It’s the new year and you know what that means–more kayaking to be done! Waters are cold and steady so it’s just begging to be paddled in. So you just know that I’m really itching to get into the waters (holiday pounds to work off–and all that). A constant question that seems to come up from my friends is “John, aren’t you cold?”

Apparently, it’s a pretty common concern that most people have about us kayak enthusiasts. I think they’re surprised that we just don’t turn into blocks of ice the moment we come into contact with water, haha! But all kidding aside, it’s a pretty good question, actually. When it’s cold and the water is even colder, paddling can be dangerous if you aren’t properly equipped. In serious cases, it can even result in severe hypothermia. So let me share with you my tried and tested tips on how to keep warm while kayaking in winter.

1.) Wool Socks

No, I’m not joking. A good pair of thick wool socks is worth its weight in gold when you’re in a kayak in winter. They’re comfy and can be quite toasty–they dry really quick and odor doesn’t stick to it. So if you’re on an extended trip, you don’t have to bring several pairs of wool socks with you. It makes packing a lot lighter. Imagine this, you spend several hours wearing neoprene paddling shoes or even slogging it through some cold water then after drying your feet, you slip them into some warm wool socks. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

2.) Rubber Gloves

Not the most cool looking thing out there but it does the job–particularly for winter paddling. Rubber gloves keep your hands warm while making your fingers free and ready. This is especially helpful when you have knots to tie or undo. When I get out of the water, I have a pair of mitts ready to catch my hands and slowly warm them up and keep them cozy.

3.) A Trusted Drysuit

For paddlers who like to go into different kinds of waters, drysuits offer the best protection against the water. For me, it may look a tad silly but these one-piece suits do the trick. Drysuits are usually make of nylon with a waterproof polyurethane coating or breathable laminate. Mine have latex gaskets at the wrists and ankles–plus the neck part has a special zipper to really keep the water out. So I could get dropped into the water and I would still remain dry.

4.) Layers and Liners

While drysuits will keep you warm, they’ll provide little insulation from the cold. So it’s quite important that you pair your drysuit with specifically made insulation and liners–tops and bottoms made of fleece can do the trick. A good liner will be quick-drying and breathable. Most liners on the market today even feature an abrasion-resistant outer surface that blocks wind pretty well. Personally, I go for full-length fleece liners with front zip entries. They go pretty well beneath my drysuit.

5.) An Insulated Hat

Boy, let me tell you how much this is an important part in keeping you warm! I usually pair a woolen cap with my wool socks (don’t judge me!). Other options that you guys can choose from are fleece caps, face masks, lightweight balaclavas. In more extreme situations, you can even choose to wear full neoprene hoods.

So that’s it for me. It may not seem like a lot but it certainly does the trick. So if you’ll excuse me, off I go to research my next kayaking spot!

Please and Thank You: Sea Eagle RazorLite Inflatable Kayak

With winter starting its groove, the waters have been settling into a more calm drift pattern—no sudden downpours or showers that can churn up big disruptive waves or currents! You know that this means—perfect Kayak season for those who love the cold weather! I happen to be one of those people (granted my cramps don’t have other plans). Kayaking with a buddy or solo has always been a relaxing activity! The only part that can serve as a bit of a damper on things is the sheer bulk of a kayak.

Hustling it around can be a downright nightmare! It’s big and bulky and you have to make sure that you fasten it tightly unto your vehicle unless you don’t mind seeing your costly investment fly off during a stint at the highway. So it’s always been the dream of kayak aficionados, like me, that there be a better way to indulge this hobby.

So take this, I was just browsing the net one day and BOOM—I saw an advert that I still can’t quite believe is real. I saw ad for the Sea Eagle 393 RazorLite Inflatable Kayak. Yes, you read that right: INFLATABLE. You might as well tell me that world peace was achieved! Naturally, I did more reading about this miracle piece.

The specs are pretty straightforward with the exterior coming at 393 x 71 cm and the hull weight at 15.2 kg. The interior specs are at 393 x 43 cm—which, I gotta say, is perfect for the solo kayak adventurer. What I really like about this thing is that when deflated, it fits right into a specially designed backpack. A BACKPACK! Goodbye cables and rope! The material strength is quite something reaching 1100 reinforced Decitex. A lot of people mistake decitex to be a type of fabric rather than a measurement of the fabric strength.  It’s lighter and narrower than most kayaks, solid or inflatable, so that’ll make it a faster paddle. That is perfect for high performance kayak hobbyists!

Another thing that’s got my attention is how it is NMMA Certified. This is something that tells that this isn’t the sort of inflatable kayak to tease and not deliver. Other features are two open and close drain valves, 6 D-rings that help secure the seat and foot rests, 3 one-way air valves and some others. According to reviews, it’s a quick setup! This is a dream come true for anyone who’s been dreading the time to hitch up and take down their hard shell kayak from the vehicle it’s tied to.

Price wise it’s a bit hefty at $899 BUT for its performance output (clocking at 6mph) and ease of transport, it’s worth shelling out the extra for an inflatable kayak than getting a hard shell kayak. Really, it’s the convenience we’re paying for and from the looks of things so many people are NOT regretting their purchase. In fact, I’ve read several reviews of buyers that are currently or will purchase a second one for family. That means a lot to me in terms of feedback because if you know anyone who loves to kayak, we don’t just recommend or buy for others—we gotta test it first!

So truthfully, my hands are itching to get a hold of one! I’ll let you guys know if this ever comes true but for now, you need to excuse me while I go do some more research about this wonderful thing!

Wave Runners

I hurt my back a while ago at the gym trying to do squats with apparently way too much weight (and I guess bad form), so it’s been bugging me for a couple weeks now.  Yesterday was the first day I felt better, so I decided to go out to water for a little diving.  Instead of renting a boat, I brought my wave-runner.  I hooked it up to my car and drove over to one of the piers in San Diego.  I don’t know which one exactly because they all seem to blend together.  There’s too many of them.  It definitely wasn’t either of the 2,000 foot ones.  I dropped the wave runner in the water and took off.  I got the thing from Yamaha.  It’s performance all the way – nothing spared.  It’s got a 1.8 liter supercharged HE engine that basically makes it a rocket ship (over 100 mph).  It costs a pretty penny, but I like it, so it was worth it.

<—- That’s the one, but mine is lime green.  Anyways, I strapped my diving gear onto the back, where the 2nd or 3rd person would normally sit and took off.  I stopped in what I though was a pretty good spot on the bay and got ready to dive down.  It was nice and sunny out and the water wasn’t as cold as usual.  I put on my new diving mask and dove down a little over 40 feet.  There was a bunch of fish swimming around and they took off in all directions when I passed by; it was almost like I was a shark.  I would have thought they’d be slightly more welcoming to my presence, but that wasn’t the case.  I was supposed to bring my GoPro, since I just bought the black series, but I couldn’t find it.  I have no clue where it went.  It was sitting on my dresser and I thought I had brought it with me.  My girlfriend may have borrowed it for her bachelorette party for one of her friend’s this weekend.  My crappy underwater camera from Walmart was the only thing I had on me, so I took the picture above.  You’ll notice a huge amount of seaweed.  I may not have picked the best spot in hindsight.  It’s kind of a cool shot with the greens and blues, but I was looking for some fish or something.  I swam around for a good 45 minutes looking for shells, trying to take pictures of golden trout, and searching for buried treasure (not really), but I couldn’t find anything.  The pictures I did get weren’t even worth uploading.  I have to say though that it’s mostly the spot I picked.  The bay area is usually really nice for diving, especially on a clear day (and when you have all of your equipment with you – like the damn GoPro).  Afterwards, I hoped back up on the wave runner and had lunch.  That’s what you call thinking ahead!  I packed a PBJ, chips, a soda, and some fruit.  I basically had my own little picnic in the middle of the water.  Then, I raced back into shore loaded up and drove over the the beach to just hang out for the rest of the day.  This wasn’t the best dive ever, but it was definitely relaxing, which I needed.

Diving & Boating

Shore diving can be immensely exciting if you can find a suitable place, but nothing can be compared to a boat diving and usually most beautiful place on the Earth can be reached by boat. Diving boats are pretty expensive and you need to invest a lot in their maintenance. If you are visiting some place and you want to experience scuba diving, it may be cost effective to look around for some boating company. They will provide you all the equipment you need, but still, what kind of boat you should look for and what should you expect from it?

When you are considering to visit some diving center, the most important thing is to review the shape and the conditions of the boats – they all should have safety equipment and to run smoothly.

We are about to present you a small checklist to help you in determining which boat is the best for your needs.

  • Does a boat have safety equipment?
  • Is there are a certain type of boat for different types of diving and the environment?
  • What facilities should boat have?
  • Is there are staff on the boat and are other divers experienced?

Every boat should be equipped with safety and diving equipment. This equipment needs to be regularly maintained and checked. The boat company needs to meet certain regulations and standards and in the most cases to exceed them. Ask them about emergency procedures, in case something goes wrong.

You cannot choose one specific style of a dive boat. Depending on sea  conditions or types of diving, the dive boat should have specific features that will accommodate its function. For example, if you are diving in the UK, where is cold water and large waves, you will need a bigger boat that has a lift on the back because it will provide you easier exit and entry. On the other hand, if you are diving at some tropical island, you will require a smaller boat to get you faster to the sites.

Regarding the facilities, they all should be well maintained and designed, but all of this also depends on the size of the boat. You should ask the boating company if they have showers there, a place to sit down, wash mask and if they provide refreshment and snacks.

Depending on a diving company, they may decide to bring one or more staff on board, if they are experienced you shouldn’t be too stressed how many staff is on board, you only need to follow their instructions.

The boats who have proven to be the best for scuba diving so far are:

Ribs: known also as Zodiacs in the U.S.; they have a rigid bottom, but they are also lightweight and sensitive, they can carry from 4 to 12 people, depending on the size, their engine is strong and it can go 60 nautical miles per hour. Ribs are excellent boats for short trips.

Day boats: they can carry from 10 to 30 people, made of wood or steel. They have very comfortable facilities from showers and toilets to a pantry.

Live-a-boards: there are the large boats, usually 100 feet long or more and they have full living quarters. These can accommodate from 20 to 40 people. They have a platform designed for diving and you can live on them for several weeks and explore diving in a best possible way.

The first type of boat is a rowboat.  These are usually between 10 and 20 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds for a heavy duty one.  Most come with 2 larger seats that can fit an adult or two children, and sometimes a small seat in the front.  The oars are typically hooked to the side of the boat and held in place so the user can simply moved the oars to go forward or backward.  Rowboats are best for a romantic date or some exercise.

The motorboat is the next kind.  These come in all shapes and sizes as there are thousands of brands of them.  The price range varies tremendously based on a multitude of factors like brand, size, seating, motor, and even location of purchase.  Motorboats are a good one to rent if it’s available because they’re generally pretty cheap for a few hours of use and you can zoom around the lake, river, or ocean and cover a lot of distance in a little bit of time, especially if you’re looking for a good fishing spot.  Speed to your location to get in position, toss the anchor overboard, and start catching fish!

Canoes are a smaller kind of boat that typically fit the same amount of people as a row boat, except it’s usually only one person paddling.  Make sure you take turns.  This is a major arm workout and wears you out quickly.  Canoeing is another great date idea, much like the rowboat.  The local sporting goods store will have a canoe for $100 or so.

Sailboats are just as expensive if not more than motorboats, depending on many of the same factors.  These types of boats have a huge sail, connected to a rudder in the back of the boat that’s used to steer.  Bring one of these out on the water on a windy day and you’re going to have an amazing time sailing around.  Better hope the winds stay up though, otherwise, you’re stuck 🙁

A raft can be classified as a boat because it floats and carries people, but I don’t personally believe it is.  A raft is usually a collection of wood beams held together by nails, screws, or rope and meant to carry a reasonable amount of weight in the water.  They float nicely until you add a little too much weight and they start sinking.  I’ve had this happen before.  Not a fun time!  Look for one that has slightly raised sides if you want to use it because you don’t want the water constantly flowing over the wall into the middle of the raft as you’re paddling around.  Out of all the boats, this is your slowest method by far.

The next kind of boat is a kayak.  These are really fun!  It’s basically a way cooler version of a canoe.  They come in one and two-person setups, but don’t get the 2.  Go for the 1 person so you can paddle around freely.  It’s more fun that way.  Plus, you can race your friends.  Kayaks are what people use when they want good exercise or want to take on some white water rapids, anywhere from class 1 to 5.  I’ve never tried the rapids before, but I have friends who did and it sounds amazing.  My kayak is an obnoxious yellow color, so I’ll need to buy a new one soon that better fits my style.

The last type of boat for my post today is the pontoon.  These are the ultimate in relaxation.   If you’re going to get one, trust me on this – spend the money to get one that has the canopy top and a decent size outboard motor.  You want to be able to relax in the sun OR the shade, have shelter if it rains, and have a boat that’s quick enough to speed back to shore if something happens.  My friend dislocated his shoulder out in the water and luckily we had a fast boat, so we could race him back to shore and get him to the hospital quickly.  Lesson learned and now it’s been shared 🙂